Claiming Dependent Parent Deduction
Most of the time people think of only children being considered dependents when they file their tax returns. However, there is a possibility that you can claim an elderly parent that you take care of as a dependent on your tax return if certain tests are met.
Standard deduction for dependent parent
The reduced standard deduction for taxpayers claimed as dependents on other returns applies only to the basic standard deduction. First, there must be a decision made to determine if someone is considered dependent:
- The parent must first meet income requirements set by the IRS to be claimed as dependent. The parent must not have earned or received more than the exemption amount for the tax year. This amount changes each year
- Second, the taxpayer must provide more than half of the parent’s support during the tax year in order to claim them as a dependent.
What family members can be claimed as dependents?
These are just a brief summary of the rules. The person who you want to claim as a dependent must be a relative. Relatives who may qualify – but do not have to live with you – include: mother, father, grandparent, stepmother, stepfather, mother-in-law, father-in-law.
Dependent taxpayers who are elderly or blind can claim the additional standard deductions, regardless of the level of earned income. Thus, for example, an elderly, single dependent taxpayer with no earned income can claim the $950 reduced basic standard deduction plus the $1,450 additional standard deduction for elderly single taxpayers.
Support Requirements for Claiming Dependents
Remember, that a taxpayer must be providing over half of their financial support for food, housing, medical, transportation, etc. If the person lives with you, include a reasonable percentage of your mortgage, utilities and other household costs in determining your level of support. Remember, your parent doesn’t have to live with you. If a taxpayer’s parents is living in an assisted car facility, any amount of support that a taxpayer pays towards this can count toward the dependency support requirement.